A Mathematician’s Proposal

January 11, 2009

A Carnegie Perspectives repost Michael C. Burke (College of San Mateo; Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Foundation) In Mathematics and Democracy, Lynn Arthur Steen describes quantitative literacy as “a habit of mind, an approach to problems that employs and enhances both statistics and mathematics.” What characterizes this habit of mind, this way of thinking? Why is it […]

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The Case for Common Examinations

November 14, 2008

A Carnegie Perspectives repost Lloyd Bond, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching The notion that all students who take the same course at a given college should take common examinations has been around for a long time. But programs that regularly employ common examinations are still rare, primarily because they require a […]

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Common Exams as Prompts for Improvement

November 14, 2008

Glendale Community College’s mathematics program, in 2000, instituted a common final examination for all sections of pre-collegiate algebra. The department produces tabularized information after each examination in order to show, among other things, the dropout rate and mean GPA for each class, as well as the performance of each class (properly coded to ensure anonymity) […]

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Student Interviews on the Effectiveness of a Method

November 13, 2008

Students approach the math textbook as little more than an (extremely expensive) problem set, expecting to get all of the information they need to prepare for tests simply by attending lecture. A typical college math course requires a great deal of homework, and students are expected to spend many hours outside of class studying. When […]

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Student Interviews, Uncategorized, Video evidence | Comments (0)

Common Exam as Inquiry

November 13, 2008

While one would think that mathematics would be less susceptible to the problem of coordination and grade variability (it is, afte all, more “objective” than reading and composition), that turns out not to be the case. Math teachers also vary in how they teach and how they grade, creating similar concerns about whether all their […]

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Faculty Inquiry Groups

October 14, 2008

Yu-Chung Chang (Pasadena), “No Longer Lost in Translation: How Yu-Chung Helps Her Students Understand (and Love) Word Problems” Yu-Chung says: I started a faculty Inquiry Group (FIG) to investigate why so many math faculty find Intermediate Algebra onerous to teach. The FIG discovered that… 1. Word problems are hard: Students avoid doing them and teachers […]

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Student Outlines: From Question to Evidence

October 14, 2008

From Windows on Learning: Laura Graff, Dustin Culhan, and Felix Marhuenda-Donate, “Outlining Mathematics: Transforming Student Groaning into Student Learning” I have always thought a large problem in math and science education is reading. Students are never taught how to read technical textbooks. I knew that somewhere along the way I had mastered this skill, but […]

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Students Presentations as a Source of Evidence

October 14, 2008

Pat Wagener (Los Medanos): “Can Problem Solving Become a Habit of Mind” Pat Wagener says: Throughout the semester, my students were expected to present their solution of an application problem to the class. They were directed to make their knowledge visible so anyone who viewed their solution would clearly understand their thinking. One principle benefit […]

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Example: Looking at a Think Aloud

August 20, 2008

Jose thinks aloud: Click here to view this video of a student working through a math problem Pasadena City College. Think alouds are ways of getting a transparent glimpse of what students are thinking when they are trying to learn. Think-alouds prompt students to verbalize their thoughts as they solve a problem, case study, or […]

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Making Sense of Evidence

August 20, 2008

Once you have gathered evidence and data, it is sometimes a challenge to make sense of what you are seeing. Often, student learning evidence can add to complexity or confusion by giving you too much data; or it can be difficult to interpret in part because the reasons for student confusion might be opaque or […]

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Teaching Problem Solving, Think Alouds, Video evidence | Comments (0)